20 Dec 2014

Philander shines as Proteas close in on victory

12:27 pm on 20 December 2014

Paceman Vernon Philander took five wickets as South Africa closed in on victory after reducing the West Indies to 76 for two in their follow-on innings at stumps on day three of the opening cricket Test.

Vernon Philander of South Africa during test match.

Vernon Philander of South Africa during test match. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Windies require another 275 runs to make South Africa bat again and with the weather set fair for the next two days, the rampant Proteas will be confident of completing the win.

Philander bowled with impeccable line and length to grab four wickets as West Indies were bowled out for 201 in their first innings, before he removed left-handed opener Devon Smith after home skipper Hashim Amla asked the visitors to follow on.

Marlon Samuels (13) and Leon Johnson (31) will resume on Sunday hoping to lead the West Indies rearguard on a pitch that remains good for batting.

The Proteas do have problems of their own though, wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock did not appear after he rolled his ankle in the warm-ups, while Faf du Plessis will return to hospital on Saturday for more tests after he was laid low by a mystery stomach ailment.

Both are in doubt for the remainder of the Test.